So, I bought an ukulele yesterday. I was up late Saturday night, practicing guitar and cruising GuitarCenter.com for a new deal when I clicked the link for ukuleles. I’d been thinking about picking one up for a while, since it’s supposed to be easy to play- and easier still if you play the guitar. Plus, I’m from Hawaii and everyone and their aunty plays, so I thought I’d better get on board (finally).
Let me tell you guys: it rocks! I’m still a novice guitarist, but I found the ukulele really easy and fun to play. I’m definitely going to keep at it while I fine tune my guitar skills.
While I was looking for songs to learn, I remembered one of Hawaii’s great uke players, Jake Shimabukuro. This guy has been a part of Hawaii’s music scene since 1998 when his band, Pure Heart, snagged several Na Hoku Hanohano awards (Hawaii’s Grammy). As a solo act, he won international acclaim when a video of him performing a cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral on YouTube.
Shimabukuro is another genre-buster who takes this traditional Hawaiian instrument and applies it to jazz, funk, rock, and classical music. He’s got lightning-fast fingers, too. Just check out his cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody:”
Bonkers, right? It’s no wonder that he’s traveled the world over performing with super stars like Bette Middler, Yo-Yo Ma, Cyndi Lauper, and Ziggy Marley. He’s so fun to listen to because it really sounds like he’s playing with– not just playing on the instrument. His music can really kick start a lazy Sunday morning!
Pick up “Peace Love Ukulele,” Jake Shimabukuro’s new album, on iTunes now! It is so amazing what he can do with just four strings. I’ll keep you posted on my progress with my little uke. Let me know if you have any song requests! xx